Every Salesforce blog has at least one section that is dedicated to “getting started with Salesforce”.

My site is more for people who are comfortable with the basic admin side and want to think about different and expanded ways of using the platform, but anyone can follow along.  Salesforce has a whole area dedicated to this:

https://help.salesforce.com/HTViewGettingStarted?id=000176053

If you are reading along and feel like you need to play some catch-up, here are the steps

  1. Get a developer org from developer.salesforce.com
    • As I mention in my first post, this is your playground.
    • They are free
  2. Go to help.salesforce.com and poke around, try some of the quick start guides, and just take in what you can
    • Quick starts are great
    • Tip sheets are good
    • Implementation Guides if you really need to understand something
    • There are lots of getting started videos available
  3. Try YouTube for Salesforce videos
    • There are lots of them, but they are great because so many are 5min or less
  4. Play around in your free org.
    • If you need to know what something is, try google.  It rarely fails if you make the first word salesforce and the other words what you need information about
  5. Work through some of Trailhead
    • This is new and really good.
  6. Ask questions on success.salesforce.com
    • Great people on there are ready to answer your questions.  We just ask that you make them reasonable.  Don’t ask “What is Salesforce”
    • Look at questions other people ask.  If they are over your head step back and figure out what they are talking about
  7. Go back to help.salesforce.com and look around some more
  8. Download this book for free.  It will give you lots of examples and show you ways to expand on the basic system

Throughout all the steps: TRY STUFF!

  • Make an Account for your workplace
  • Make a Contact for your dog
  • Add a workflow rule to do something automatically

If you are hooked, try watching some of the Dreamforce Videos.  They are long but you learn all sorts of stuff, and they spend time framing it for you.

One thing I will say is even if you are a developer by trade, spend time learning the declarative side before jumping right into Apex.  You need to know when a workflow can be used instead of a trigger, and how to leverage what Salesforce has already built for you.

Getting started with Salesforce can seem daunting but there are a lot of resources available. Get to know them and participate as often as possible.